Natural causes, surprisingly TORONTO -- Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, whose scandal-plagued time in office made him an international celebrity, has died. The family has confimed that the 46-year-old succumbed to cancer today -- 18 months after doctors discovered a softball-sized malignant tumour in his abdomen. The diagnosis in September 2014 came less than a year after Ford confessed to smoking crack while in one of his "drunken stupors." The illness forced him to withdraw from his bid for re-election as mayor and he ran instead for a seat on city council, winning in a landslide despite his notoriety. Ford's term as mayor featured a series of headline-grabbing antics, including slurs against minorities, lewd remarks about his sex life and his admission of serious crack cocaine and alcohol abuse. He nonetheless was continually admired by his supporters for his everyman persona, his consistent opposition to "downtown elites" and his emphasis on derailing the "gravy train" at city hall.